Keeping Your Family Law Lawyer’s Fees Manageable

I will bet that close to 50% of all attorney-client relationships end because the lawyer claims the client didn’t pay the fees and the client claims the lawyer overcharged him or her. Sometimes, it is unavoidable. Most of the time, it is.

The way you can manage your lawyer’s fees is ensuring 1) you and your lawyer communicate about the tasks he or she intends to perform 2) you can afford the time that will go into those tasks and 3) you understand the risks vs. benefits of the potential outcome of the tasks. How do you do that? Communication.

At Farzad Family Law, in every one of our divorce and family law cases, we ensure you are not “surprised” by your bill and you know what we are doing, why we are doing it and the potential outcomes ahead of us.

1. We evaluate your case to determine what issues in your divorce or paternity case should resolve quickly and which ones will need more work.

2. We evaluate between you and your spouse, which one of you is in a better position to pay for the lawyer’s fees. If your spouse earns more income than you do, then we may need to file a request for the court to have your spouse pay a contribution toward your lawyer’s fees from the very beginning of your Orange County divorce case. If you are the higher income earner, you and us need to do a cost vs. benefit analysis of whether putting up a fight over certain issues is wise if you have an exposure to an attorney fee request from your spouse.

3. We plan out a strategy on your case based on our evaluation and the time you and we take to discuss every issue and identify those that should settle and those that may need to go to court.

4. On the simple or straightforward issues, we make settlement offers to your spouse or spouse’s lawyer early. That way, if your spouse is unreasonable and forces those issues to family court, we can ask the court to order your spouse  to pay lawyer’s fees as a “sanction” (punishment) for being unreasonable.

5. On the complex issues or those you and your spouse have a disagreement, we create a budget for you of how much you can reasonably expect to spend. The budget isn’t a floor or a ceiling on the fees because it is hard to predict fees on any divorce or family law case, but it will give you a range of reasonable expectations. If your spouse is out of control and deliberately tries to increase the lawyer’s fees you spend, it’s time to go to court and ask the court for sanctions against him or her and put a stop to that nonsense early. Few things are worse in a divorce or paternity case than having a spouse that is on a rampage. At Farzad Family Law, we have seen and dealt with our share of them and we know how to handle them.

6. If the strategy on your case changes or needs adjustments, we talk and we plan it out. Constantly communication about your case is not only essential to being informed, it’s also important for ensuring the time and money spent is done so wisely.

7. Finally, every month, you receive a specific and itemized bill from us that shows you the time we spent on your family law case and breaks down the time by the time spent, the task performed and who performed it. I am often surprised by how many divorce and paternity clients who are represented by other lawyers don’t get a bill each month until a huge bill lands on their lap for several months of work.

To keep lawyer’s fees in your case manageable is not difficult. It just requires diligence between you and your lawyer. At Farzad Family Law, we ensure you get that diligence from day one and until the end of your case.

Call us.

We will help you through it.

B. Robert Farzad
Orange County Divorce & Family Law Attorneys
1851 E. 1st Street, Suite 1150
Santa Ana, CA 92705
Telephone: (714) 937-1193
Facsimile: (714) 937-1192

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